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The Stars Of ‘Prom Dates’ Want You To Feel As Much Joy Watching The Movie As They Did Filming

The night before prom is always a hectic time, but nothing beats Jess and Hannah’s shared prom eve experience in Hulu’s new movie Prom Dates. The film follows Jess, played by Ginny & Georgia’s Antonia Gentry, and Hannah, played by HSMTMTS’ Julia Lester, as they desperately search for last-minute dates the night before prom. 

At the start of the film, Hannah is stuck in a cringy, sexless relationship with Greg, who’s head-over-heels in love with her. Though their relationship makes her skin crawl, Hannah keeps putting off breaking up with him to avoid hurting his feelings. However, after Greg reveals he will be attending the same college as Hannah in the fall, she literally runs away from him before breaking off their relationship. 

While trying to figure out a plan to get last-minute prom dates, Hannah tells Jess she’s a lesbian and wants to go to prom with a girl. Remembering the blood pact they made as kids, Jess vows to help Hannah find the prom date of her dreams and the two head to a party at Rutgers University, hoping to land dates.   

As a queer woman herself, Lester found playing Hannah very special, as the character’s coming-out story closely resembled her own. “When I came out, I was met with so much love and support and was definitely raised in a community where that was celebrated,” Lester tells Her Campus in an exclusive interview. 

In Prom Dates, Hannah finally decides to embrace her queer identity and go after the type of relationship she’s always longed for, which for Lester, was a beautiful thing to highlight on screen. “It was really special and written so authentically and true for Hannah and what she’s going through,” Lester says. “I love that every single person she comes out to, she’s met with love and support, which I think is really important.”

For those who might be having trouble embracing who they really are, Terry Hu, who plays Hannah’s crush, Angie, offers some advice. “Community is extremely important and a privilege to have,” Hu says. “Take your time looking for your community. Know that it’s out there and don’t bury yourself because one day it will be very safe to be you.” 

Lester has a similar sentiment. “Join the theater program — you will definitely find people that help you feel your most authentic, whether that’s on stage or behind the scenes,” she says. “Find your people. Or if not, they’ll help you find your people.”

Prom Dates may have had its sweet and lighthearted moments, but it also included plenty of hilarious and awkward situations, which made for an enjoyable experience — not just for viewers, but also for the cast. “Antonia and I got to do a pretty cool pool scene, which just added more adventure to the mix,” Lester says.  

Even though the film primarily follows Jess and Hannah’s wild night out before prom, other characters also get the chance to have some fun, like Jess’ prom date-slash-boyfriend Luca (Jordan Buhat), who gets into a big fight — which Buhat considers his favorite scene since everyone got to be involved. “It’s way more fun when you get to see everyone who’s actually working on the film all at the same time,” he says. “It was probably the most fun I had on set.” 

For Kenny Ridwan, who plays Hannah’s lovesick boyfriend Greg, getting the chance to do a promposal on camera was his favorite. “It was definitely kind of embarrassing for me,” Ridwan says. “But it was my favorite because they gave me the license to do what I wanted on the stage, and that was a dream come true.”

Although Prom Dates highlights the stress that comes with ensuring your big night is perfect, it also shows how awkward high school relationships can be, especially when you’re afraid to embrace who you truly are. 

Overall, the cast hopes viewers take in the overall message of Prom Dates, which is to embrace love in all forms. They also hope viewers feel the joy they had making the film when watching. 

“Gather all of your favorite friends and your favorite snacks, and have a good night,” Lester says. “[Prom Dates is] fun and I love when a movie just feels fun and lighthearted.”

EnJanae Taylor is a Her Campus national writer. She writes for the Style section, covering beauty, fashion, and decor. She graduated from LSU, earning bachelor’s degrees in fashion merchandising and journalism. She was also the entertainment editor and later the managing editor of LSU’s award-winning newspaper, The Reveille. EnJanae’ is currently a contributing writer for Southern Living. She’s previously written for The Everygirl, College Fashionista, and Basic Magazine. EnJanae’ loves everything fashion and pop culture related. Her favorite activities are going to the movies, shopping, and seeing her favorite artists in concert. She also runs a food account with her best friend and loves eating a good meal.